Shortbread has to be one of my favourite holiday cookies, I mean it is so easy to make and that melt in your mouth buttery goodness is almost impossible to resist! Although plain shortbread is amazing you can fill it with pretty much anything from simple to gourmet and from sweet to savoury even. Taking a queue from my candied orange peel shortbread I had been wanting to try a festive version with bright red maraschino cherries, though instead of coating them with chocolate this time I was going to add the chocolate to the cookies along with the cherries. I was however a little torn between whether to use white or dark chocolate as white chocolate seemed more festive but dark chocolate goes so well with cherries. In the end the easiest solution was to make a batch of both and besides you can’t have too much shortbread.
The chocolate and maraschino cherry shortbread cookies did not disappoint! I was quite pleased at how the red from the cherries swirled into the cookie dough and both the white and dark chocolate versions turned out amazingly well!
Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread filled with maraschino cherries and chocolate and optionally drizzled with or dipped in more chocolate.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped and patted dry
- 1/2 cup white and/or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces white and/or dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
- Cream the butter and the sugar.
- Mix the flour and the salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until it starts forming larger clumps.
- Mix in the maraschino cherries, white chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Form the dough into the shape that you want, wrap it in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. (I did a rectangular log but you could also do a circular log.)
- Cut the log into 1/4 inch thick slices and place them on a parchment lined baking pan with one inch of space between them.
- Bake in a preheated 325F/170C oven until they just start to turn lightly golden brown on top, about 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. (optional)
- Dip the cookies into the chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper and let cool until the chocolate sets. (optional)
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